N17 trial suffers a new delay

The trial of 19 suspected members of the November 17 terrorist group suffered a new delay yesterday, after a defense lawyer was slightly injured in a traffic accident. This came just one day after the court started sessions again following an 11-day summer break. Ioannis Stamoulis, who represents Constantinos Karatsolis and Iraklis Costaris – numbers nine and 10 on the list of defendants – told presiding Judge Michalis Margaritis he would be unable to discharge his duties for the day. A reluctant Margaritis suspended the session for today, after no other defense lawyer would agree to take Stamoulis’s turn. Karatsolis and Costaris, two friends – the one was best man at the other’s wedding – who are both aged 37 and worked as real estate agents in Athens, were arrested together on July 20 in the western village of Morphio. Both deny charges of participation in bank robberies; the 1989 arms theft from an army camp at Sykourio, near Larissa; and, in Costaris’s case, complicity in the 1997 killing of businessman Costis Peratikos. Karatsolis had initially confessed, but then retracted.